Thursday, January 7, 2010

Torrance on World Missions

Since T. F. Torrance was the son of missionaries, I've found it strange that I rarely see him comment on the subject of missions. However, I came across this great paragraph on that subject today.
The very life process of the church is the resurgence and expansion of the new creation in Christ, right in the midst of the critical situation brought about by the cross in the world. Here that life process runs parallel to the expansion or the 'catholicising' of the person of Christ from a historical to a cosmic significance which took place at the cross where the redeeming love of God in him was at last universalised and made free to the whole world. It was the death of Christ, so to speak, that emancipated his gospel for the whole world. The cross catholicised or universalised Christ, and so it necessarily universalises or catholicises the believer at the cross and who by the cross becomes joined to Christ and therefore joined to a new universal humanity. Thus the cross introduces into the Christian outlook, the notion of universal expansion or world mission, in which all barriers of race and language are broken down, and the Christian is constrained to proclaim reconciliation to all and to live it out, for it is by that same motion of universal reconciliation that he and she have themselves been redeemed in the cross. That is why the Christian faith is necessarily missionary, because the word of the cross lodged in its heart is the word of an infinitely expanding redemption that must reach out to the uttermost bounds of the universe, embracing every tongue and tribe and people. (Atonement, 200)


  1. Not so fast! Torrance's book from, I think 1975, "Theology in Reconciliation" is full of 'this stuff'. Maybe I have stated the obvious.